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(Ways Of Research - Vol. 8) Hans Joachim Störig (HG.) - The Problem Of Translating-Scientific Book Society (1969)

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The problem of translation, from Martin Luther to the present day

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The problem of translation, from Martin Luther to the present day

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100% (3) 100% found this document useful (3 votes)
1K views 509 pages

Original title:

(Ways Of Research_ Vol. 8) Hans Joachim Störig (Ed.) - The Problem Of Translating-Scientific Book Society (1969)

Description:

The problem of translation, from Martin Luther to the present day

Copyright:

Available formats

As PDF, TXT download or read it online on Scribd

DES BERSE, _fZE1 S

Production of the 2nd, revised and amended edition 1969, under


Addition of a directory> Selected Scripture <

~ Order number: 636

1963 by Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt

Printing and binding: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt


Printed in Germany

ISBN 3-534-00636-4

CONTENT
Hans Joachim Strig, introduction.
Jerome, letter to Pammachius.

VII

Martin Luther, Letter from Interpreting

14

Novalis, from "Pollen".

33

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Drei Stcke vom V translate

34

Friedrich Schleiermacher, methods of translation.

38

Wilhelm von Humboldt, introduction to "Agamemnon".

71

August Wilhelm von Schlegel, V on the Bhagavad-Gita

97

Arthur Schopenhauer, Upper Language and Words .:.

101

Jacob Grimm, Ober the pedantic in the German language

108

Friedrich Nietzsche, On the problem of translation.

136

Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, The Art of


Translation

139

Rudolf Borchardt, At ~ s., Dante and German Dante ".

144

Walter Benjamin, The job of the translator.

156

Karl Vossler, Sprachgemeinschall as Gesinmmgsgemeinschafl

170

Franz Rosenzweig, Die S chrifl and Luther.

194

Wolfgang Schadewaldt, The problem of translation.

223

Eduard Horst von Tsd1arner, Chinese poems in


German SpradJe.

242

Ludwig W. Kahn, civil style and civil


Translations.

273

Jose Ortegay Gasset, Splendor and Misery of Translation.

296

Martin Buher, To a new Germanization of the Schrifl.

322

Edmond Cary, The Future

363

content

VI

Martin Heidegger, At4s "The principle of reason".


369
Peter Brang, The problem of translation into
Soviet point of view.
384
Hans-Georg Gadamer, Language as a Medium of the hermeneu402
table experience.
Anthony Gervin Oettinger, The Problem of Translation. 410
Karl Dedecius, Slavonic Poetry - translated - transferred 442
re-sealed
Selected literature

463

INTRODUCTION
Translators are to be seen as busy matchmakers who give us a
to praise half-veiled snow as lovable: they arouse an irresistible inclination towards the original. Goethe
A translator is required to present the same concepts and thoughts that he has in front of him in an excellent pattern
finds, in the same order, connection, context and
with equally strong emphasis, with others indifferent, bey
common and well-known signs accepted by a people
so that the idea of ​​the thoughts among the beyderley characters make an equal impression on the mind of the reader
make. The translation is a conterfey, which deserves the more praise Conrad Breitinger
serves, the more similar it is.
Rica rapportait aUsbek cette conversation:
((Il y a vingt ans que je m'occupe a faire des traductions.))
Quoi, monsieur, dit le geomhre, il y a vingt ans que vous ne
Charles de Montesquieu
pensez plus!
Nevertheless, it seems to me that translating from one language
in the other, if it is not from the queens of languages, who
-greek and latin, happens, behaves as if
you see the Flemish wallpaper on the wrong side, because
Although the figures show themselves, they are full of threads that
they distort, and they do not show themselves in the beauty and perfection as on the right; this also proves translating
from easy languages ​​just as little talent as eloquence, just as little as he who copies one paper from the other can show both. But that's why I don't want to say that translate that
is no worthy work, because man can still work with others,
to spend his time on bad things that are of less use to him.
Miguel de Cervantes

VIII

introduction

In the exaggerated aversion to bad translations,


there is a certain embarrassment against translations in general.
Large originals also shine from awkward reproductions
indestructible.
Christian Morgenstern
The good translator must look up all the words, especially those he knows well.
Valery Larbaud
Je le compare a l'ckuyer qui pretend faire executer a son dleval des
rnouvements qui ne sont pas naturels a celui-ci.
Andre Gide
It is a bad sign when an author has to be translated completely, and
a French could put it this way: a miracle that one
translation is not worth it.
Jean Paul
Une ceuvre non traduite n'est publiee qu'a demi.

Ernest Renan -

From some translators. - Gesnerus writes: If you can


Capon gives bread soaked in strong wine to eat, since he
it becomes full, and then takes it to a dark place
Eyer sits down, covers the nest with a sieve so that he doesn't
can get away with it if he now struggles to find himself again,
and has digested the drink, the fool thinks no differently than
he laid the eyers himself and is completely eradicating them.
Hermit Newspaper, June 25, 1808
Mademoiselle de Lafayette, la femme de France qui avait le plus
d'esprit et qui ecrivait le mieux, comparait un sot traducteur a un
laquais que sa mahresse envoie faire un compliment a quelqu'un;
ce que sa mahresse aura dit en termes polis, il va le rendre
grossierement, il l'estropie; plus il y avait de delicatesse dans le
Compliment, moins le laquais s'en tire bien.
Nicolas Boileau
When translating you have to go as far as the untranslating idle;
but only then does one become the foreign nation and the foreign
Aware of language.
Goethe
Une musique composee pour un instrument n'est point executee
avec succes sur un instrument d'un autre genre.
Mme. De Stael

introduction
I feel urged to open the basic text,
With an honest feeling once
The sacred original
Translated into my beloved German.
It is written: "In the beginning was the word!"
Here I am already! Who will help me further?
I have to translate it differently
When I am properly enlightened in the spirit.
It is written: In the beginning there was the meaning.
Remember the first line
Since your pen is not in regret!
Is it the sense that works and creates everything?
It should be written: In the beginning there was Krafil
But also by writing this down,
Something is already warning me that I'm not sticking to it.
The spirit helps me! Suddenly I see advice
And write confidently: In the beginning there was the deed!

IX

Goethe

The purpose of this book

The series of Motti is not only in front of the book, it can be in
to a certain extent also stand for the book, because it is like it: it
is also a compilation, it contains comments from men who have something to say on the subject of translation; just
since it is not about aphorisms, flashes of thought and splinters,
Bonmots, sentences, but rather more detailed presentations of medium length, essays, lectures, essays. And
how the series of mottos can be supplemented and expanded,
yes, downright crying out for it, the following compilation is also incomplete. It is also subjective, not free
von Willkr, lt misses all sorts of things that the knowledgeable reader might immediately think of. But on the other hand it contains
in my opinion, nothing that would be negligible in view of
on the subject or unworthy in terms of society in
that it appears here.
There are millions of people who read and hear translations

introduction

there are (at least) hundreds of thousands who translate. There are comparatively few who theoretically deal with the phenomenon of
translation and dealing with their problems, also at universities, and among these, as far as I can see, there are again only a few,
who have a fairly complete overview of the
what about poets and thinkers, translators and critics
different times, in different languages, in remote places
Places, from different points of view - such as literary studies, comparative linguistics, cultural history, philosophy of language - thought about the problem
and has been written.
But a thick book on such a remote topic? Who himself
is willing to take a look at the topic at all
Immediately convince yourself that it is not so remote as it deserves, from the literary world as from science
to be observed and processed more than before. Few words
will be enough to make it clear that the subject is quite significant; since it is also difficult and completely dangerous
Depths, too, will prove.
On the historical significance of translation
Since mankind has been speaking in different tongues, since then
Tower of Babel, translation is one of the indispensable
Activities of people: in the political as well as in the social
Traffic, war and robbery as well as peaceful Reil; en and
Acting, and especially when communicating philosophy,
Science and poetry.
The entire history of ideas can almost be looked at and
break down according to the major transmission streams and waves. A
Example: The 12th century, a classic age in translation history, brought the West to the Arab East, in
Sicily and Moorish Spain in close contact with the
World of islam. The three prerequisites for a
There was a powerful stream of translation: a level difference, a cultural gap between the two language areas - im
culturally inferior occident a state of scientific

introduction

XI

Development, the one pull, one compelling need and one


The willingness to take in the foreign goods generated - and thirdly, as an igniting spark, the contact between the two. The
The fall of the Moorish rule in Spain made the treasures of Toledo accessible to Christian scholars. A stick
of translators, among them John of Seville, made himself
began to translate the first works of famous Islamic scholars Avicenna, Alfarabi, into Latin. Petrus Venerabilis translated the Koran. Adelard of Bath transmitted an Arabic edition of Euclid.
Gerhard of Cremona, the greatest translator of the age and
one of the greatest of all time, came to Spain driven by
The desire to get to know the Airnagest of Ptolemy, studied the Arabic language and used 27 years later, works
from classical antiquity, including those of Aristotle and the
Archimedes, to translate. Because the Arabs owned from this
classical heritage many times more than the western world. Spaniards,
French, Italian, Flemish, English took part in the big one
translation work The Jews had an important mediator
Role. It was translated from Arabic into Latin, dated
Arabic into Hebrew, from Hebrew into Latin and now, first of all, from Greek directly into Latin. After this
Europe through the mediation of Islam to connect to the
Greek sources and foundations of his life
it now penetrates directly to these sources. Climax
and the conclusion of this wave is the work in the 13th century
Wilhelm von Moerbekes, the Flemish Dominican, who transferred Hippocrates, Galen, and above all Aristotle from the Greek original into Latin. His work did the work of
Aristotle for the first time fully accessible to the West,
for Wilhelm's friend, Thomas Aquinas, it became an indispensable basis for his philosophizing; she directed with it
a new chapter in the philosophical, political and socio-philosophical thinking of Europe.
New life awakened all over the West under the influence of these translations. Two important effects of Islamic fertilization were the development of the Aristotle-oriented

XII

introduction

led scholastic philosophy to its medieval climax and the emergence of European universities.
Many such examples can be given. It's just about it
remembered as the historical path of Christianity, namely
not only its outward expansion over the whole earth, but
also its inner development, from the history of the Bible translations (up to today in 1109 languages) can be read, and
since for us Germans the decisive section in the newer one
Developing our language with a translation, namely the
Martin Luthers, has started.
On the importance of translation in today's world
How many people may there be in any one today
Are busy translating for a moment? The actual literary translators who wrestle with an important literary model in the quiet of a mostly modest study room,
make up the smallest part. Everyone is translated
Switching points for news traffic, in international agencies, in editorial offices, radio stations, television stations; in
the diplomatic missions and the governments of all states;
in all international organizations and in all international ones
Conferences; at border and customs authorities; in all companies that export and import; in countless military
Agencies, be it those of the intelligence service or international alliances; in film studios; in all international modes of transport; everyone who watches a foreign language film or tries to find a newspaper or book in a foreign language translates it
read, anyone who listens to foreign radio stations; translate it
the millions who go to business, to study, to work every day
or go abroad for pleasure as soon as they have only one inscription,
- looking to decipher a label, and likewise everyone who wants to decipher it
Foreign electricity in hotels, restaurants, on ships, in companies,
received hospitably at universities or in the family; we take
now all the troubled students in the schools of the world,
about texts in Latin, Greek, English, French,
Russian, Chinese Sprame, in Hindostani and a hundred others

introduction

Xlll

Sdlwitz, so it sdleint, since many millions of people are constantly translating and since hundreds of thousands are trying to make it their job.
Audl if you only ridltet your gaze on printing units or only
on books printed in one language, then in other languages
Translated and reprinted, that is our century
characterized by an unprecedented expansion of translation. You only get reddish brown once between the two
the world wars started, after the second world war "Index Translationum" published with the support of UNESCO
punch through and will immediately feel tempted, ours
Century to the many epithets that it - mandlmal a little prematurely - sdlon was given to add that of a "century of translations".
Adversarial streams of translation of moderate extent and well
Another important effect is, for example, the Russisdlen in Spradlen of the many peoples who made the Soviet Union
united under her dadl; these Spradlen in turn to
own life, produce literature and in turn become ins
Russisdle and translated into other Spradlen. Other currents arise because of the scientific literature of the West
- and also our dark literature - in the spradles of the
emerging developing countries.
The question now is, which laws obey the law
Question, _o_b _it is possible, philgsoph! Sm ~ thoughts and. Didlter'Yot; t ~ without crossing into another_ Spradle to transp () nier ~ n, the
How can this be ensured that the ideas and
The peoples' debts are made accessible to each other in simple, coherent transmissions, and not out of it
Inability or even with dismissal in misleading, disfiguring,
The original does not need to be talked about: all these questions, as one can see, can be of great practical relevance and so
honestly, since one is faced with the problem of the translation
befat.

XIV

introduction

The purpose of this introduction

The foreword of a scientific book - or a book,


which, like this, are at least observed by science
want - consists mainly of apologies, one
Exercise that one likes to blaspheme and that one inevitably engages in
falls back as soon as you step in front of the public with the result of an effort that has once again taught you how
infinite and how diverse that is what one can recognize and
want to penetrate, and how modest on the other hand are the powers of our knowledge, our resources and the time allotted to us.
In particular, the purpose of this introduction is to highlight some
To mark out boundaries (to be defined) and to make it clear there
this book only sheds light on one aspect of the translation problem,
and this only imperfectly - in short, to say what everything
this book cannot be and does not claim to be.
The introduction in no way claims to convert the essays collected in the main part, most of which were made by the hand of a master
to multiply one that they criticize, summarize or themselves
wanted to measure against them. It only has two purposes:
First. I would like to quickly walk the circle with the reader that
encloses what is presented here as an excerpt, and at the same time the image
focus on what remains outside this circle. So I want
I announce what aspects of the translation problem are here
not dealt with, which are only hinted at.
Secondly. I would like to give some pointers as guidelines,
can serve as guidelines for reading such as the breakdown and theoretical treatment of the translation problem, and
I want to justify the choice I made.

Translation and interpreting

Today's German usage has another and


a narrower term of translation. In a broader sense it includes
Translation of any translation from one language to another.
In a narrower sense translating means the written transferring and

Bin line

XV

stands in contrast to interpreting. A speech, a conversation


will be interpreted; a letter, a message, a note, a book
is translated. The oral process of the interpreter differs from the written one of the translation: the performance of the
The interpreter's (unless recorded by record or tape) is fleeting, transient that of the translator is
fixed and preserved. The impromptu interpreting ~
Moment does not apply when translating. The interpreter has to be quick
react, instantly, the translator has - comparatively more time. We therefore expect greater accuracy from the translator. The interpreter often needs considerable memory skills
accomplish, the translator hardly. Many things suit the translator
Aids to bidding: dictionary, reference works, general
Literature, perhaps other comparable translations. Due to lack of time, the interpreter can make little use of them.
The interpreter is usually from the current situation and in
Services of a. Client active, the translator not necessarily. After all, the interpreter almost always works with others, the translator usually alone. The requirements fr
both activities are so different that interpreting and translating are two different professions today.
To the extent that interpreting presents problems of a different kind than that
translate, they are left out of consideration in this book - all the more so
more than we want to restrict ourselves essentially to literary translations, which by their nature always take place in writing
becomes.
Concerning literary translation

With this limitation, we focus on the area


the translation, which is probably the most productive and harbors the most interesting problems; Nevertheless, the restriction is severe.
First of all, it means that we only pay attention to those translators who have a certain degree of maturity and perfection,
aims at publication, be it printing or performance.
Out of consideration, putting on top remains a mere exercise, even if it is
on the literary text, and translation as a mere auxiliary

XVI

introduction

medium, such as occurs in the clapping, smearing or


whatever they are called - the English say paving -,
which are equally popular and equally forbidden in all high schools around the world; or as it occurs as a rough translation or interlinear version - mere and temporary
Tools to understand the original text.
Regarding subject areas, with this restriction we exclude the translation of news of all kinds into press, radio,
at news agencies and in the military sector, translation in diplomatic communications, commercial translation
in business, trade, transport, gastronomy, legal
Translating in international legal transactions, ultimately translating scientific and technical texts.
However, there is a fluid border here. The bulk of the texts,
that occur in the realm of the exact sciences may well be
Let translate without all the difficulties of literary
Translation stand in the way - with the restriction, of course, there
the language into which the translation is to be carried out has the corresponding conceptual system and vocabulary at hand! As soon as
But we come to that area where facts are no longer described, observations are reported, calculations are made, where rather it is interpreted, interpreted, conjectured, polemicized or where, on the higher levels of theory, science leads to philosophy (and that is almost the case today everywhere
der Fall), where subjective moments and the free play of thought come into play: the translation of such texts throws in the
Principle quite similar problems as the literary one
translate. This is especially true in the field of philosophy and the
Humanities. A text by Heidegger, a subtle one
literary interpretation, a psychological essay will prove to be
Just as difficult to translate - or completely untranslatable - prove to be like Jean Paul or Chinese poetry. Every viewing
of literary translation must therefore include philosophical, humanities and, of course, religious texts.
In the area of ​​literary translation, on the other hand, there are
Branches that have their own problems and not here

Bin line

XVII

be treated. This includes the problems of film synchronization. This includes children's books: There is only one thing that
is heavier than a good, classic children's boom
To write - it has been said - namely to translate a good children's book well. The special problems also include
the demand for the ability to speak to the dramatic translator
and the many translation problems with works that consist of
Word and music form a unit, in songs, choral works,
Operas. The often heard complaints about the poor quality of our translations are even more justified in this area than
elsewhere.

Limitation to the theory


The subject of literary translation hereby delimited
can be viewed from various angles. Historically, I indicated at the beginning what a fascinating and productive subject translation can be
can be used for cultural and intellectual history in general, especially the history of science and literature.
Because not only the science-miming, not just the remnant story (in which translation problems play an important role) - and the literary mimicking is to a large extent the mimicking of reception. The newly burgeoning literatures orientate sim
Yes, for the most part only on the unfamiliar role model, their first strolls on the lead of translations. In Germany - for only
to sprint from him here - the translation of Latinist texts began as early as the Carolingian period. The middle age
sees numerous attempts at translating the Bible. The first printed
German Bible was first published in 1466, and 15 more followed before the
Luther's. Renaissance and humanism stimulate interest in the
Classics of antiquity and deepen your knowledge of the
Hebrew; the 17th century translated from the Franzsismen
and Spanish. Translations flourish in the classical and romantic periods
on like never before. Most of the German literature is largely translator. Translate Gottsmed, Wieland, Brger
Homer, then Vo follows. Goethe translates Voltaire and Benvenuto
Cellini, Smiller translates Shakespeare and Racine. Smlegel over-

XVIII

introduction

sets the Bhagavad Gita. Tieck translates Don Quixote. Schlegel, Dorothea Tieck and Baudissin create the Shakespeare translation that has dominated the German stage to this day. Chamisso
translated, Rckert translated, Heyse and Geibel translated. The
19th century translates Middle High German
Works just like the great Russians. And now the movement
almost invisible - also in Anglo-Saxon, in French,
in the Russian language area.
The topic in this regard in a large way - as a panorama, as
Complete paintings - to treat is as desirable as it is difficult; no attempt is made here. For single processing through
Monographs, studies, dissertations is this side of the topic
infinitely productive; there is a lot of valuable work here.
Today's translation system could continue in the manner of
empirical social research. One could (and
should) investigate how many translators there are, where and how they are
work as they live and get paid. The position of the translator in literary life would be a problem of literary sociology. Thirdly, one can look at translation from a practical point of view, especially according to the
professional interests and needs of the translation guild
Here one should think of the copyright treatment of the
translation in the individual countries and in international copyright law, to the training of translators, to the professional organizations of translators and their activities, to literary prizes,
to the remuneration of translations and to the translation market, finally to questions of work technique and bibliography,
of all kinds of tools including difficult art
To make dictionary.
The texts presented here ignore these sides of the problem
essentially - like the psychology of the translation process - and are limited to theory. But what does translation theory mean, and to which science should it belong?
A sentence that I used in an American
Thesis: "The history of translation theory by no means shows a sequence of easily distinguishable,
well-ordered progress. She has a strange man

introduction

XIX

gel in continuity. Those who rules for translating


in most cases do not know the contributions of their predecessors and contemporaries. "Indeed: The development is
discontinuous, many voices fade away dishonorably, even in one's own language area; even more so, they do not penetrate other countries.
A methodically structured, widely accepted theory of
There is still no translation. Our century that on
in many fields in many forms, especially in art, that
Making the past of all epochs available at the same time is the right thing to do
to create order here, too, and at least what is already there
to collect. Valuable compilations like the one edited by Brower have appeared, witty monographs like that of
Mounin and Savory. The series of these attempts would like to
Classify this book by compiling important texts from the past and present, mainly from the German-speaking area.
The relationship between theory and practice is just as close here and
Of course - and just as problematic - as elsewhere.
Anyone who is talking about transferring must try to get away from Scylla and
Charybdis to keep away from two equally dangerous cliffs:
If he starts from the individual case, from the individual word and its (approximated) synonyms in other languages, from the individual sentence,
of the individual poem, he can examine it individually,
recognize, communicate what has been recognized - but because of the indissoluble individuality of the individual it is difficult to rise from him to more general statements, and so his work is for you
general theory of paradigmatic value only. Conversely, if it starts from the general, for example from the knowledge about
the different possible linguistic structures or from the theory of meaning, then again a gap to practice remains,
because the general theorem is based on the solution of the individual problem
the assessment of an existing translation is not easy
can be applied. One thing is certain: about the transfer
In principle, it was mainly men who voted - and I have
such voices are also preferred - who are themselves in the craft of
have tried to translate or even mastered it
brought.

XX

introduction

With this sd10n is a beginning to answer the question:
Who should be responsible for theorizing about translations? In
first and foremost the great poets, those who predominate
Parts of them have also been translators - and the great translators,
which also quite predominantly ... because who could be a significant one
To be a translator who does not have something of the poet in him?
Two other groups besides this have, even without the ID
own creative translation work, a say: the
Philosophers and linguists. For the philosopher are
Questions like logic and language structure, ratio of thinking and
Speaking, indissolubility of the individual, problems of communication, of understanding legitimate objects of his thinking
and researching - yes, you can say there is the newer philosophy
largely revolves around language. Touching all of these questions
also the translation problem. And since the subject concerns the linguist, there is hardly any need for proof - regardless of whether it is
thinks about the nature and origin of language in general or describes individual languages ​​or works on many languages ​​in a historical-comparative way, whether he deals with form theory, syntax, the theory of meaning or etymology.

The cyberneticist speaks up


A dispute broke out between the faculties today over the question of who
is responsible for handling the translation problem, so
the voice of a very young science would soon be intangible: cybernetics. This branch of
Science, arose through an equally original and fruitful combination of information theory, control technology and the
mathematical theory of the game, is known to deal with
Electronic computers with so-called thinking machines - and in this connection also with the possibility of constructing a translation machine. The discussion has barely been going on for a decade, but there is already a deluge of - for the most part
extremely technical literature, incomprehensible to the non-cyberneticist, there are international scientific congresses
About the problem, there are first attempts to build such machines.

Bin line

XXI

If we had in this book of the transmission of technical and


scientific texts, to deal more generally with texts
for whom their information content matters, deserved it
mas but it is in the discussion about the literary translation
search? Is this not a matter of things like intuition, feeling
for nuances, in short about a sultry process, which is essentially different from all medianisms and the masks, forever closed? I'm afraid it would be premature if you wanted to bring up the subject
say goodbye. It seems to me that the considerations of cyberneticists fr
The science of language is unexperienced and instructive because the approaches
cybernetic translation theory also posed numerous problems
of literary translation shine brighter and more sharply than it
was previously possible. From this consideration I have one
Article included in this collection, which can also give non-mathematicians a first glimpse into this side of the problem.

Content and form - central problem of literary translation


Ludwig Reiners writes in the introductory chapter of his "Art of Style": "Two different languages ​​are two different views of the world. Every real translation has the same thought
first get rid of the foreign words and with the words of the
to clothe one's own language anew, hence S said that in every translation the spirit must have a new body
to get; every translation is a transmigration of souls. "Is
the right? If you look closely, Reiners uses two comparisons: in the first he compares content and form with the body and
his clothing. This comparison lags! One message, one
Information, a technical essay - well, you can do the pure one
Information content, the body, pick out and clothe it.
But a literary text? What deserves this name always represents an indissoluble unity of content and form, of meaning and linguistic expression. The second comparison would be more appropriate here: meaning and form are connected like spirit and
Body. But is a spirit no XXII

introduction

Body moves in? Such a transmigration of souls may be conceivable - we cannot accomplish it, and one can imagine that a complete translation will be just as impossible.
Almost all the difficulties of translating, almost all discussion originate here and can be traced back to this point.
At the same time, the problem of translation flows into the
more general of the linguistic work of art in general. One can
and must try to unfold the translation problem.
as long as one remains aware of this, since the individual questions are related to one another and to the central problem like communicating tubes. I would like to emphasize two points of view:
On the one hand, the question of the possibility of translation at all, d. H. according to its absolute or relative limits, for
The other question is: How should - within recognized limits - be translated as best as possible, what is a good, an adequate translation - what is loyalty?

Limits of translatability


Let's start with the simplest, the name. In a novel
the acting persons have names. Dickens is a Mr.
Wackford Squeers appear, Balzac an M. Lucien de Rubempre,
Thomas Mann a Helene go to the port. The names are calling
a compatriot of the poet a certain emotional impression
point out, they awaken certain. Associations. What should the translator do? As a rule, he cannot translate the names,
so he has to leave it there. In his language they say but his
Readers nothing or not what they conjure up in their language.
This does not only apply to personal names. Yes, it doesn't apply at all
only for names. Names are nothing but a kind of exponentiation
Special case for the relationship between the. Word and thing
or the term that the word means: cavallo, cheval, horse and
Equus are indeed synonyms for horse - but they have a different status in the sound structure of their language and - as phonetic structures - evoke different connections of thoughts.
In written and printed text, in addition to the intended (intended) content and the sound image, this is the third factor

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Typeface. It's likely there is a Cyrillic or Arabic


written word, suppose yourself, the content was completely identical
with a German synonym, solely through its optical image
certain shades work differently. How much more will that be
be the case with ideograms like the Chinese, theirs
millennia-old characters have their own life!
Let's stay with the single word. As a personal salutation
we have "Du" and "Sie" in German (apart from "Er" and
"You"), the French have "tu" and "vous", the English do not make this distinction, the Russians make it, but in a different nuance. Anyone who translates from English into German
helps with a simple romance novel with the rule of thumb "up to
first Ku you, then you ". It does not require any explanation, since the
Salutation in the case of literary works sometimes confronts the translator with unsolvable tasks.
Let's still keep our word and consider the task
to translate a word, once through the eyes of the linguist .. It
are very few real synonyms. The meaning of 'cheval' should correspond to that of 'equus', but the old Germans
had - as Ludwig Reiners pointed out - a much narrower one
Relation to horses, and so our language has next to horse still
Stallion, mare, gelding; she has Ro, Gaul and Mhre; Mould,
Black, fox and fallow. English, eat 'mu already once
'eat' can be represented once with 'eat'; the German
"Uhr" in English once with "watch", once with "clock". And
one can, for example, translate 'esprit' with 'spirit' and 'patrie' with
"Fatherland", "elan" with "swing", "bosque" with "forest" (on this Ortega in his article)? Here it is a question of the fact that the meaning image and emanation area are approximately synonymous words
almost never coincide exactly. It also happens there in one
Language, certain terms are missing at all, such as 'snow' in the
Languages ​​of tropical tribes, plant names, precious stones; especially
also words from the field of religious imagination and
of the social order: shaman, totem, taboo, pharisee have been adopted into our language because we are for the designated seed
no German: s word laths. The translator will act in such cases
borrow the foreign word or create a loan translation -

XXIV

introduction

in German there are many thousands of loan translations -; in both


The translator enriches and influences the language.
Since the language is alive and constantly changing, this is called
Foreign word or loan word adopted in the new home
do not hold onto its meaning, but shift it. Visage, Journal have different accents in German than in theirs
Homeland.
Before we leave the word it should be noted in the margin,
there puns and puns each other., apart from lucky cases, as
turn out to be untranslatable. "ls life worth living?" - "lt depends upon
the liver. "We can't imitate that in German. Also
the numerous translation blunders and translators who
some people even collect, have their charm only for
who understands the languages ​​concerned. An Englishman translates
'Hors-d'a: uvre' with 'out of work' or 'La belle dame sans merci'
with 'The beautiful lady who never said thank you or' Cave
canem with 'Beware, I may singl'. Who himself. translate that first and
have to explain, will hardly find it funny anymore. Also. in skilful translations one often becomes the one otherwise missed
Find funote when there is a play on words in the original.
Let's go beyond the single word into the construction of language,
thus the obstacles multiply. It starts with the
Relationship between the word and what it denotes, in the
Basically arbitrary. is. One of the consequences of this is that related terms may be in a language with related words
be expressed, but not in another. Lichtenberg says in his speech remarks: "It is a very inevitable
Errors in all languages, since they only express genera of terms,
and seldom say enough what they want to say. Because if
If we compare our words with the seeds, we shall find that the latter proceed in a quite different order than the latter
first. The qualities we notice in our soul
are related in such a way that a boundary between two can not be specified. The words, however, with what
we designate them, are not so, and two on each other
The following and related properties are expressed by characters that do not reveal any relationship. One should

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to decline the words philosophically, that is, their affinity:


can specify changes from the side. In calculus, one calls a line an indefinite piece x, the other one
not y, as in common life, but a-x. That is why the mathematical language has such great advantages over the common one. "
The grouping of words and concepts into classes
does each Sprame differently. The closest examples are mostly taken from the designation of colors. Africanism
Languages ​​only divide the whole spectrum into three segments; Mexican languages ​​have one term that is our green and blue
included, the Greeks had completely different classifications than we did.
I hesitate to venture any further into the linguistic slippery state, but I should point out the difficulties
to draw oneself into the inimitable when one considers the syntactic structure
versmieden-er languages ​​glued together from the point of view of transferability or namability.
;(
Traduttore traditore - or: "What does loyalty mean?

In the Oxford Concise Dictionary, translation is defined as follows:


"translate - express the sense of (word, sentence, book) in another
language ". As simple as that is (and so inadequate for the literary
translate, because it disregards the problem of form) - it contains dom aum
a problem. Is the translation faithful to the word? in the
In the Middle Ages, the (almost) literal translation, the interlinear version, was largely common. For sacred texts that
to be seen as inspired by the believers, as the word of God,
the mensmlime translator will hardly dare to speak to them
To stir word sequence. Can not be behind a word, behind a word
There is a sense to be hidden that sim will only reveal?
In the case of literary work, the literal translation will make understanding difficult, violate the laws of one's own language and miammed the form of the original: no doubt, because one
Literature cannot translate in this way.
If the translator is concerned about understanding (which freitim smon
can be a falsification of the original and puts him in danger,
serving his audience more than the work he is translating)

XXVI

introduction

and the translator wants the laws of construction and style of his own
Respect language, he must (at least) start from the sentence as the
linguistic unit that contains a thought - or several -.
That is what the humanists demanded. Luther did - but did Luther